Has it REALLY been over two years since my last post here? I have a weird addiction to blogs, and I know I've posted elsewhere, but I guess it really HAS been a while! And now I'm editing to note that I actually started this post over a week ago...eesh...
I actually had to go back and look at the title of this post. The Tubal! A tubal ligation, that is. 'Coz I got one. And I was more excited about it than a sane person should be (maybe). I can't really pinpoint what makes me the most excited, but I think it has to do with being done having kids, having a family that I couldn't have planned better for if I tried (which isn't to say that I didn't try!) and just knowing that my uterus is closed for business!
So here goes, with all of the TMI (maybe, again) details. I didn't post this on this blog, but my 4th child, 2nd daughter, was born on one of my favorite holiday's of the year...Groundhog Day! Laurel Alexis Stone came into the world at 3:33am, a whopping 8lbs, 12oz...not too shabby for being nearly 2 weeks early!
At one of my prenatal checkups, of which there were MANY, due to preterm labor and things, one of the doctors talked to us at length about the different sterilization methods. I always figured that I'd get my tubes tied when I was done having kids, but there are other ways of doing it nowadays. I have had 3 Mirena IUDs that have worked out well for me between pregnancies in that they do wonders to lighten periods. I'd thought about getting one again, but it is still "temporary", and they like to be diligent about having it checked every year, it is good for 5 years, etc etc. My first Mirena also shifted and they had to use the jaws of life to get it out. Well, not really, but it was wedged up there pretty far and it took the doctor about 45 minutes to get it out after making sure it was still in there by ultrasound and using a bunch of knitting needles (cervical dilators) to open things up to fish it out.
Back to the talk now. I considered the IUD again. Then the doctor talked about Essure, but that sort of turned both Mike and me off when they described the metal coils being in there permanently, the 3 month wait time for effectiveness, how it may not work, complications, etc. I don't react particularly well to metal in general, as I can barely wear earrings for any length of time these days without my ear lobes swelling up. And it freaked both of us out that the metal coils would be in there...FOREVER.
Then the tubal stuff. Two ways of doing it. One was shortly after birth (mini-laparotomy) and the other was a little more time after birth (laparascopic). The mini-lap seemed to rely on digging around for the tubes (no scope) and she explained that it could be hit or miss. The laparascopic one used a scope, had two incisions (but smaller) and possibly shorter recovery time. So we kind of went for that, and made it officially on the books when I went for my post-partum checkup.
April 26th was the day! I got to abstain from ibuprofen for a week or two before, and no food, water, etc starting the night before. The plan was that I'd get up and drive myself up to the surgery center, and Mike would get all of the kids to where they needed to be and meet me up there. We decided to put the girls into daycare again (a few days a week), and it would be Laurel's first day. I needed to be at the surgery center no later than 6:30, so I set off around 5:45. Mike put Daniel on the bus around 7:15. Then dropped off the girls, then Jared at preschool and was on his way.
Meanwhile, I got to the surgery center about 6:20ish, and checked in pretty quickly. They called me back around 7 or so, and I went into the pre-op consultation, where they do all of the vitals (check hematocrit, blood pressure, temperature, weight, etc) and I got to sign all of the paper work...yes, I am fully aware that this will make me unable to have more kids. They had me pee in a cup for a pregnancy test (just checking!) and I got changed into a spiffy gown, cap and paper bootie things. Down to pre-op I went, and they came by to set up the heart rate monitors with stick-ums all over my chest and start an IV. The nurse who did the IV was AWESOME. She numbed it up with lidocane (which I can't say I've had before an IV was put in) and the whole thing went in like butter...I could hardly feel anything. And then I waited.
Lots of people in pre-op for various things. Of course, everyone is separated by curtains. It was kind of a cacophony of voices in there while doctors, nurses, patients, whatever talked over each other. And after a while, everyone got pushed off to where they were going, and I was still kind of waiting. It was still early though, but I was kind of bored until someone came by with magazines to read.
My doctor showed up and said we could start earlier than 8:30 if everyone was ready. I think all they were waiting for was anesthesia. The resident showed up and introduced herself and finally the anesthesiologist arrived and we were good to go. Although it wasn't too much earlier...I went back about 8:19.
I can't honestly remember what it was like the last time I had total knock-me-out surgery, since I was only 7 or so. I couldn't tell you what the operating room looked like, and so on. In any case, as much as I could see without glasses, we got to the operating room, I got to lay down on the table (which seemed super narrow to me!) and had my arms out like I was on death row ready to get a lethal injection. Then the mask. And then I heard the anesthesiologist say that she was putting the stuff into my IV to make me verrrrrry sleeeeeeepy. A few seconds later I was out, and the next thing I know I'm waking up in recovery.
I felt really tired (but I was tired anyway! I have four kids, remember?) but not too bad on the pain scale. The doctor came by and said everything went well (which he had reiterated to Mike in the waiting room), although I had 3 incisions instead of 2 (which I come to find out is probably due to my weird anatomy...ha!). Mike came in and the nurses got him some ice chips and water for me. Yum. Just like labor and delivery. It wasn't too long before I was free to go home! I got home, slept off the rest of the day and all was pretty good.
Aside from a few days of soreness (there were a few times I had a hard time bending over to get Laurel up for night feedings) and wearing dresses vs pants/shorts, I think I'm healing up well! Two out of the three sets of steristrips fell off after a week and a half or so, and the NP at my appointment today ripped off the 3rd set. Voila! I'm fixed!
And if I get motivated later, I'll post pictures on here...hahaha!